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Western intelligence agencies predict more losses of territory for Ukraine by the end of the year – Welt

Ukrainian forces may have to cede more territory this year due to Russian military superiority, Western agencies reportedly warn.
Putin choke on
Ukrainian soldiers use a launcher with Javelin missiles. Credit: Ukraine’s General Staff
Western intelligence agencies predict more losses of territory for Ukraine by the end of the year – Welt

According to a media report by Welt, current intelligence reports warn of “larger” territorial losses due to Russian superiority by the end of the year. The assessment states that the “overall picture” for Ukraine is “darkening” due to Russian dominance.

Welt reported, citing Roderich Kiesewetter, deputy chair of the Parliamentary Control Committee for the Intelligence Services, who acknowledged Ukraine’s problems with ammunition and mobilization but suggested pessimistic assessments are being “spread” to “suggest the situation is hopeless and military support no longer helps.” He claimed this aims to “subtly, but cruelly” pressure Kyiv into “territorial concessions.”

MP Ralf Stegner, a committee member, said the intelligence assessment is “essentially accurate” and aligns “with what I know.” The report expects Ukraine will not “regain the initiative” in 2024 and will likely suffer “significantly larger territorial losses” than since January.

It cites Russia’s “significantly” stronger artillery deployment and ability to “more than compensate” for losses, while Kyiv cannot recruit enough new soldiers to “offset losses and form reserves.” New mobilization rules will only take effect “late summer” due to training requirements.

The anticipated losses stem from Ukraine’s “defensive posture and associated delaying actions” as it seeks to “conserve personnel” and buy “time through ceding territory” to rebuild its military-industrial complex. However, Russian air strikes could become “problematic” for this effort.

Kiesewetter said that while Ukraine can still win, “every delay in support” from Germany and others makes it “more difficult and costly.” He advocated replacing Olaf Scholz’s pledge of aid “as long as necessary” with an “all-in” approach, allowing Ukraine to attack Russian production sites, depots, and staging areas, removing “red lines,” and ramping up arms production.

Stegner disagreed with “hardliners” claiming more weapons are needed to prevent defeat, saying last year’s failed offensive showed “you can and must prevent Ukraine from losing, but not achieve victory.” Constantly demanding faster or greater weapons deliveries is chasing “illusions,” he argued, likening it to “increasing the dose when the medicine doesn’t work” being “unconvincing.”

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